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Proceedings Paper

Sparse aperture masking (SAM) at NAOS/CONICA on the VLT
Author(s): Peter Tuthill; Sylvestre Lacour; Paola Amico; Michael Ireland; Barnaby Norris; Paul Stewart; Tom Evans; Adam Kraus; Christopher Lidman; Emanuela Pompei; Nicholas Kornweibel
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Paper Abstract

The new operational mode of aperture masking interferometry has been added to the CONICA camera which lies downstream of the Adaptive Optics (AO) corrected focus provided by NAOS on the VLT-UT4 telescope. Masking has been shown to deliver superior PSF calibration, rejection of atmospheric noise and robust recovery of phase information through the use of closure phases. Over the resolution range from about half to several resolution elements, masking interferometry is presently unsurpassed in delivering high fidelity imaging and direct detection of faint companions. Here we present results from commissioning data using this powerful new operational mode, and discuss the utility for masking in a variety of scientific contexts. Of particular interest is the combination of the CONICA polarimetry capabilities together with SAM mode operation, which has revealed structures never seen before in the immediate circumstellar environments of dusty evolved stars.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 July 2010
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 7735, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy III, 77351O (15 July 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.856806
Show Author Affiliations
Peter Tuthill, The Univ. of Sydney (Australia)
Sylvestre Lacour, Observatoire de Paris-Meudon (France)
Paola Amico, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Michael Ireland, The Univ. of Sydney (Australia)
Barnaby Norris, The Univ. of Sydney (Australia)
Paul Stewart, The Univ. of Sydney (Australia)
Tom Evans, The Univ. of Sydney (Australia)
Adam Kraus, Institute for Astronomy (United States)
Christopher Lidman, Australian Astronomical Observatory (Australia)
Emanuela Pompei, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Nicholas Kornweibel, European Southern Observatory (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7735:
Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy III
Ian S. McLean; Suzanne K. Ramsay; Hideki Takami, Editor(s)

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